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Cruise & Learn on the Sandpiper

This summer the MAAC sponsored a Water Quality Boat Cruise, co-hosted by Partners for Clean Streams and Lucas Soil & Water Conservation District. On August 6th, 78 passengers cruised up and down the Maumee River on the Sandpiper Boat for two hours, all the while listening and learning from local water quality experts. Discussion topics included basic information about water quality, non-point and point source pollution, harmful algal blooms, our drinking water, and the Toledo Water Crisis that happened two years ago. Passengers also enjoyed a trivia game, featuring questions about our local waterways. The MAAC is proud to have sponsored such a successful event, one that the local community seemed very interested in.

Thank you to the additional Partners of the Cruise: Partners for Clean Streams, Lucas Soil & Water Conservation District, The Sandpiper Boat, City of Toledo, The Toledo Blade, and WTVG Channel 13. Click on the following links to read the Toledo Blade article and to watch the Channel 13 news segment.

Partners for Clean Streams’ 20th Clean Your Streams

The MAAC facilitating organization, Partners for Clean Streams, has recently celebrated 20 years of an annual Clean Your Streams Day river cleanup. The river cleanup first started as a program under the RAP to address aesthetics in the Area of Concern. PCS adopted the program and continues its focus on aesthetics in the AOC. Each year, this cleanup has grown in size and impact. This was evident during this year’s cleanup on Saturday, September 17th. The PCS staff and CYS planning team are incredibly happy with the results of the 20th Annual Clean Your Streams Day, which would have been unreachable without the hard work and support of their Partners and volunteers! 960 volunteers participated in Clean Your Streams this year as a part of Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup. On that rainy morning, volunteers dispersed across 8 kickoff locations and removed trash from 31.1 miles of stream bank along Swan Creek, the Ottawa River, the Maumee River, and creeks and ditches flowing into Maumee Bay and Lake Erie. 26,136 pounds of trash were collected, including 730 bags, 311 tires, and many other large pieces of garbage. The list of strange trash items is long and interesting! For example, volunteers found metal poles, mattresses, construction materials, road signs, fireworks, auto parts, baby strollers, and much more. Once volunteers were done pulling trash and themselves out of the rivers, we celebrated cleaner, clearer, and safer waters during the Appreciation Picnic. There, volunteers were thanked with a lunch, t-shirt, educational activities, door prizes, and more.

One of the Beneficial Use Impairments in the Maumee Area of Concern is degradation of aesthetics. Clean Your Streams Day works towards delisting that BUI and hopes to spread awareness in order to prevent marine debris from entering our rivers at all. For more information about the success at this year’s Clean Your Streams Day river cleanup, go to Partners for Clean Streams website.

MAAC Progress Report

So far this year, the MAAC has been successful in addressing current challenges within the Area of Concern and identifying where work is still needed. A sub-committee of the MAAC worked extensively to develop a local target for one of the habitat BUIs, which was also recently approved by the Ohio EPA. In addition, projects were recommended to the Ohio EPA regarding evaluation and assessment, BUI management (projects that move forward progress on BUIs), and habitat restoration. The Committee will continue to recommend projects as more work is done to assess the conditions in the AOC, based on what is needed to improve them within the conditions of the AOC framework. To stay current with all MAAC news, check out the website.

Save the Date for the 20th Annual Clean Your Streams Day!

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Clean Your Streams Day! We look forward to celebrating 20 years of successfully removing debris from streams, riverbanks, and watersheds in Toledo and surrounding areas. Improving the aesthetics of the Area of Concern is one of the initiatives underway here. On the morning of September 17th, join hundreds of other volunteers in removing tons of trash from our local riverbanks. Since 1996, the number of volunteers on Clean Your Streams Day has grown significantly and the support for this event has gotten stronger and stronger. Last year, 971 volunteers removed over 13,000 pounds of trash in the 19th Annual Clean Your Streams Day. The more friends, family members, and colleagues you encourage to join us for this special day, the bigger impact we can have on our local rivers. Stay tuned for more details on Partners for Clean Streams’ website, including the opening of registration in early August.

DMDS Version 2.0 – New Modules & Updated Data

The Maumee Area of Concern (AOC) has a useful tool to assist the Committee, federal and state agency partners, and other stakeholders working in the Maumee AOC towards restoring Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs). The Data Management and Delisting System, or DMDS for short, has been online since late 2014. Partners in the region can use this online tool to drill down into the status of the BUIs, the projects related to the BUIs, and some of the data used to assess the conditions in the rivers compared to the specific targets set in the AOC program. Partners for Clean Streams, Ohio EPA, and our contractor, The Davey Resource Group, have been working behind the scenes to add new features and keep the site continually working well in the ever changing world of browsers and digital platforms.

The DMDS Version 2.0 now includes a Charting module that allows users to graph some of the BUIs data and compare it against the targets. There are new and updated projects in the system and more administrative tools as well. An updated Help section is almost done and new data will be uploaded soon to further “crunch” impairments against targets to help narrow in on the struggling areas and to focus the restoration work moving forward. You can access the DMDS Version 2.0 through the tabs and navigation on this website. And rest assured, we are already hard at work on Version 2.5. Watch for that later this year!

The Maumee AOC Committee works toward fishable and swimmable waters in the Maumee Area of Concern and delisting the beneficial use impairments. The Committee is working towards all major restoration projects being completed by 2025, through collaboration of partners and volunteer opportunities by its facilitating organization, Partners for Clean Streams. The committee is made up of representatives from various organizations, citizens, businesses and non-government agencies to build long term solutions to the area’s water quality issues.